An upcoming film about The Beatles‘ manager Brian Epstein will be the first feature film about the band to include their music. Rights to the band’s music are notoriously difficult to secure, with the new Epstein film the first strictly about the Fab Four to have successfully done so.
The film will be titled The Fifth Beatle, a nickname often attributed to Epstein and occasionally the group’s producer George Martin. The film will chronicle the manager’s life from his days as a shop assistant, discovering the Liverpool group, to his eventual death by accidental overdose in 1967. The screenplay is being handled by Tony Award-winner Vivek J Tiwary (Green Day‘s American Idiot, Mel Brooks‘ The Producers) with production by American Beauty producer Bruce Cohen.
Epstein, who once said of the group “I was immediately struck by their music, their beat, and their sense of humour on stage…when I met them, I was struck again by their personal charm,” is responsible for the group’s rise to stardom, first bringing them to public attention. Epstein heard The Beatles while on break from his father’s appliance store, seeing the group perform at the Cavern Club before securing them a deal with EMI.
Previous efforts to bring Epstein’s story to the big screen proved fruitless, in particular a planned biopic with a script by Tony Gittelson which went bust in 2009. The manager has been portrayed on screen in the films The Hours and Times and Backbeat, though neither pictures were allowed to use The Beatles’ music. Backbeat saw popular musicians, including Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore, recording covers of other artists’ songs that The Beatles would have performed in Hamburg.
It’s not yet clear which songs will be included in the film, it’s reported to begin shooting in 2014.
(Via The Guardian)